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Coffee history part 1

…coffee to make you smile

Condemned by Venetian clergy as the “bitter invention of Satan”.

Legend has it that it was a goat herder in the mountains of Ethiopia who first discovered coffee and its properties.

It is said that he noticed that after eating the berries from a certain tree, his goats became so energetic that they did not want to sleep at night.

The goat herder, Kaldi, reported his findings to the abbot of the local monastery, who made a drink with the berries and found that it kept him alert through the long hours of evening prayer.

News of the new drink spread until it gradually became a staple of cultivation and trade throughout the Arabian Peninsula.

By the 15th century, coffee was being grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia and by the 16th century it was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey.

It entered Europe via Italy, brought by travellers who had ventured into the East and by the 1600s was becoming popular across Europe.

In Italy at first coffee had a mixed reception, condemned by Venetian clergy as the “bitter invention of Satan.”. It was eventually given approval by the pope Clement VIII and gradually coffee began to replace the traditional beer and wine as a breakfast drink.

It continued to gain in popularity as those who drank it reported that they began their day alert and energized and that the quality of their work was greatly improved.

Coffee was not only drunk in the home. It also gave rise to the famous coffee houses which were prevalent across the Near East as centres for conversation, news gathering and the playing of games such as Chess.

But that’s a story for a separate blog. First we will finish the story of coffee’s spread around the world.

See more in our second blog of the month.

…coffee to make you smile
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